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State-owned oil refiners told to boost supply
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China has told state-controlled oil refiners China National Petroleum Corp and China Petrochemical Corp to boost supplies of diesel and other fuels to meet demand from farmers during the summer planting and harvesting season.

The government urged the country's two biggest oil firms to prioritize diesel output and hasten construction of refining units to expand their capacity to make oil products, the National Development and Reform Commission, China's top economic planner, said in a statement on its Website.

Chinese state-owned refiners are expanding output after the nation experienced its worst fuel shortage in more than two years in the second half of 2007. Demand for refined products is rising as use by farmers climbs and increasing wealth prompts higher car sales, Bloomberg News said.

The government also instructed coal producers to increase output and resume production at small mines to meet demand for electricity during the summer peak season, the Beijing-based commission said. Stockpiles of thermal coal at power stations should be kept at more than 15 days of usage during the summer season, it said in the statement.

Oil and coal firms must ensure shipments to Sichuan Province, struck by the nation's most powerful earthquake in more than five decades, to assist with the reconstruction effort, the commission said. Power supplies will also be increased, it said.

(Shanghai Daily May 28, 2008)

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